tech and geek stuff
Theoretical battle: dark energy vs. modified gravity
Expansion driven by dark energy is now overwhelming the effect of gravity.Photograph by Copyright Nobel Media reader comments 2 Share this story Two decades ago, scientists found that the Universe’s expansion...
Researchers Crack the Secure Hash Algorithm-1 Cryptographic Function
Google's vast cloud computing infrastructure was was harnessed to demonstrate that it is possible to crack the Secure Hash Algorithm-1 cryptographic function through a brute force computational methods....
Apple expands in Microsoft's backyard
Apple is growing its team in Seattle by creating a new hub for artificial intelligence research. Apple's expansion will also bolster a relationship with researchers at the University of Washington, which...
20 years after Dolly, lessons learned about cloning
Wednesday marks the 20th anniversary of the announcement of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. Her creation left a lasting impact on both the public and the field of developmental...
Researchers discover security problems under the hood of automobile apps
Enlarge / Some connected car apps may be like leaving owners' keys on the dash for malware to steal. reader comments 10 Share this story In a presentation at this week's RSA security conference in San...
Want to ward off mosquitoes? Candles and bracelets are worthless
Female Aedes aegypti mosquito as she was in the process of obtaining a "blood meal."US Department of Health and Human Services reader comments 11 Share this story Already daydreaming about warm, outdoor...
Rhesus monkeys pass the mirror test, but only after training
EnlargePaul Asman and Jill Lenoble reader comments 0 Share this story If you passed out at a party and someone drew a mustache on your face, you’d know it when you next looked in a mirror. There are a...
Brain scans during the first year can predict autism in high-risk babies
Jan Krutisch reader comments 8 Share this story By scanning the growing brains of 148 babies with high and low risks of autism, researchers could predict which children would develop the disorder within...
Ötzi the Iceman: Researchers validate the stability of genetic markers
Biomarkers are biological attributes that can give doctors or researchers clues about the health status or illnesses of a patient. Scientists are placing great hope in a new type of biomarker, so-called...
Could worms be behind a mysterious outbreak of a seizure disorder in kids?
Enlarge / A nurse distributes medicine, ivermectin, against onchocerciasis or river blindness, caused by a parasitic worm and spread by the bite of an infected blackfly.Getty | ISSOUF SANOGO reader comments...
Ancient "sea monster" gave birth to live babies
The “birth plan” of an ancient Nessie look-alike didn’t involve laying a giant egg, but rather delivering a live baby sea monster, a new study finds.Until now, researchers had thought that the fearsome...
xxdigipxx reader comments 5 Share this story For a decade, every major operating system has relied on a technique known as address space layout randomization to provide a first line of defense against...
New Mac malware pinned on same Russian group blamed for election hacks
EnlargeSumitcommunicationcyber reader comments 12 Share this story APT28, the Russian hacking group tied to last year's interference in the 2016 presidential election, has long been known for its advanced...
Exotic trip planned? Packing antibiotics may mean bringing home superbugs
EnlargeGetty | JAIME REINA reader comments Share this story Those bitten by the ‘travel bug’ risk getting another type of bug—the drug-resistant kind. But trying to fight off those bacteria with drugs...
Quirk helps squid navigate ocean "twilight zone"
As its name implies, the cockeyed squid has some peculiar peepers: One is small and black, and the other is exceptionally large and yellow. Now, scientists think they know the reason for the squid’s wonky...
Gut juice could power the next generation of health gadgets
Enlarge / A small, ingestible voltaic cell powered by the acidic fluids in the stomach.MIT | Diemut Strebe reader comments 0 Share this story Move over, wearables. Soon, ingestibles that run on the power...
Handful of “highly toxic” Wikipedia editors cause 9% of abuse on the site
reader comments 24 Share this story 3D representation of 30 days of Wikipedia talk-page revisions, of which 1092 contained toxic language (shown as red if live, gray if reverted) and 164,102 were non-toxic...
Diarrhea-causing Salmonella can be weaponized to flush out cancer
Enlarge / SalmonellaCDC reader comments 0 Share this story A notorious germ best known for getting people rushing to the bathroom may one day have cancer patients headed to clinics for a new treatment...
Science explores why certain songs give you pleasure
The chemicals in the brain linked to the pleasure people get from things like sex and drugs also play a role in how people enjoy music, a new, small study from Canada finds.When people in the study took...
A rash of invisible, fileless malware is infecting banks around the globe
INVISIBLE-MAN_1933_James Whale reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingStepson of Stuxnet stalked Kaspersky for months, tapped Iran nuke talksTwo years ago, researchers at Moscow-based Kaspersky...
Researchers add human intuition to planning algorithms
Researchers are trying to improve automated planners by giving them the benefit of human intuition. By encoding the strategies of high-performing human planners in a machine-readable form, they were able...
Your office equipment can reveal the identity of your special someone
EnlargeGetty | Thomas Trutschel reader comments 1 Share this story WASHINGTON, DC—Your computer keyboard and your significant-other likely have something in common: they’re both marked by your microbial...
Internet ‘playground’ trials new tech to deliver smart cities
Let’s playHiroshi Watanabe/GettyBy Timothy RevellThe internet is ready for an upgrade. That’s according to UK researchers who are setting up an “internet playground” to try out new kinds of internet infrastructure...
Researchers engineer new thyroid cells
Researchers have discovered a new efficient way to generate thyroid cells, known as thyrocytes, using genetically modified embryonic stem cells. The findings are the first step to developing a similar...
Before babies even babble or roll, they’re primed to be superhero fans
Farrukh reader comments 3 Share this story By preschool, lots of toddlers will proudly don superhero attire and fervently expound on the need to stand up to bullies, defeat villains, and fight for good...
Researchers Develop a Better Drone: Bat Bot
Holy drone, Batman! Mechanical masterminds have spawned the Bat Bot, a soaring, sweeping and diving robot that may eventually fly circles around other drones. Because it mimics the unique and more flexible...
Researchers break data transfer efficiency record
Researchers have set a new record in the transfer of information via superdense coding, a process by which the properties of particles like photons, protons and electrons are used to store as much information...
After years of being “locked in,” patients communicate, say they’re happy
Enlarge / A female study participant responds to a question.Wyss Center reader comments Share this story Patients with “locked-in syndrome”—conscious, but fully paralyzed and unable to move even their...
Glasses Self-Adjust Focus in 14 Milliseconds
Using simple glycerine contained between two membranes, University of Utah researchers developed glasses that automatically adjust focus. With the help of an infrared distance-measuring device, some electronic...
Pig-human hybrid brings us closer to barnyard organ factories
A 4-week-old pig embryo injected with human pluripotent stem cellsSalk Institute, JUAN CARLOS IZPISUA BELMONTE reader comments Share this story Scientists have successfully created pig embryos that contain...
Researchers report new understanding of global warming
Researchers know that more, and more dangerous, storms have begun to occur as the climate warms. A team of scientists has reported an underlying explanation, using meteorological satellite data gathered...
Your Android phone’s lock pattern can be cracked in just five attempts
If you use a pattern lock to keep your Android phone secure, you might want to consider switching to a PIN, or better yet a fingerprint scanner, as researchers have found that patterns are fairly easy...
Mental “vaccine” protects both parties from plague of fake news and lies
EnlargeGetty | BSIP reader comments 5 Share this story National outbreaks of fake news and partisan “disinformation” have convinced many Americans to doubt scientific consensus—such as the near-unanimous...
Wolf-sized otter once swam the waters of ancient China
A fearsome, wolf-size otter with a large head and a powerful jaw once swam around the shallow, swampy waters of ancient China, likely hunting for clams and other shellfish, a new study finds.The 6.2-million-year-old...
Cervical cancer just got much deadlier—because scientists fixed a math error
Enlarge / Close up of cancer cells in the cervix, the portion of the uterus that is attached to the top of the vagina. Getty | American Cancer Society reader comments 4 Share this story Cervical cancer...
A new theory on what killed the dinosaurs
When a giant asteroid careened into Earth about 66 million years ago, the enormous collision led to the formation of an airborne “curtain” of sulfate molecules that blocked the sun’s light and led to years...
Odd football-size armored creatures solve ancient footprint mystery
In a Cinderella-esque story, researchers have finally figured out the creature that left countless fossilized footprints across the ancient seafloor. The tracks -- double grooves filled with scratches...
Pwn2Own 2017 Expands Attack Surface Beyond the Web Browser
10th anniversary edition of Pwn2Own hacking contest offers over $1M in prize money to security researchers across a long list of targets including Virtual Machines, servers, enterprise applications and...
It’s shockingly easy to hijack a Samsung SmartCam camera
Enlarge reader comments 12 Share this story Smart cameras marketed under the Samsung brand name are vulnerable to attacks that allow hackers to gain full control, a status that allows the viewing of what...
Deadly superbugs may be spreading, evolving quietly among the healthy
Enlarge / Klebsiella pneumoniae.CDC reader comments 6 Share this story For years, researchers have been tracking a particularly nasty family of superbugs called CREs, or carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae,...
Doing the peace sign in pictures could put your fingerprint at risk, researchers find
Is the peace sign one of your preferred picture poses? Then you might want to keep reading. Doing the innocent-enough peace sign may actually put perhaps your most sensitive bit of biometric information...
Sophisticated defense system found in Biblical-era mining camp
Archaeologists in Israel say they’ve discovered elements of a sophisticated gatehouse at a mining camp that dates back to the biblical era of King David and King Solomon in the 10th century B.C.Recent...
Pregnancy complication took the life of this Ancient Troy woman
Death during pregnancy or childbirth would have been common in the ancient world, but these stories are often invisible in the archaeological record. However, in a new study of ancient DNA, researchers...
Tipsy mice on “alcoholic weekend” reveal how drinking triggers binge eating
Enlarge / CHELSEA - FEBRUARY 15: Burgers and beers at Bill's Bar on February 15, 2016 in Downtown New York, NY. (Photo by Waring Abbott/Getty Images)Getty | Waring Abbott reader comments 1 Share this...
MIT researchers design one of the strongest, lightest-known 3D structures
Engineers at MIT have designed one the most lightweight yet strong 3D structures using graphene, the strongest material known to man. Story continues below In its 2D form, graphene (a thin layer of pure...
Ultra-light "super material" is ten times stronger than steel
A spongy new super-material could be lighter than the flimsiest plastic yet 10 times stronger than steel.The new super-material is made up of flecks of graphene squished and fused together into a vast,...
Putting a dollar sign on the damage Alaska faces due to climate change
Enlarge / Thawing permafrost along the Sagavanirktok River in Alaska.National Snow and Ice Data Center/CIRES reader comments 24 Share this story The effects of climate change are not distributed evenly—some...
Gunshot wounds are contagious; bullets spread like the flu, study finds
Enlarge / An evidence marker sits next to a rifle casing at the scene of a fatal shooting in the 4500 block of South Hermitage Avenue Monday, Labor Day, September 5, 2016, in the Back of the Yards neighborhood...
Antihydrogen spectrum indistinguishable from that of hydrogen
Artist's rendition of a cloud of trapped antihydrogen atoms. After wandering its trap, an antihydrogen atom is released to annihilate on the trap wall, creating signals that can be tracked by a nearby...
Flight booking systems lack basic privacy safeguards, researchers say
HAMBURG (Reuters) - Major travel booking systems lack a proper way to authenticate air travelers, making it easy to hack the short code used on many boarding passes to alter flight details or steal sensitive...
Year in review: Wacky and weird science experiments
Every year, scientists try to continue to unravel the secrets of our universe and find cures to diseases. But sometimes, researchers take a seemingly sideways approach to finding innovative solutions...
Anxiety may give dogs gray hair
Young dogs can grow gray hair on their muzzles prematurely if they are anxious and impulsive.Young dogs whose owners rated them as anxious and impulsive were more likely to have prematurely gray muzzles...
No trace of dark matter in gamma-ray background
Researchers have just published the most precise analysis of the fluctuations in the gamma-ray background to date. By making use of more than six years of data, the researchers found two different source...
Wouldn’t it be great if the planet went back to how it used to be?
Enlargeflickr user: William Forney reader comments 28 Share this story Discussion about climate change often focuses on the future. People talk about the world we’re handing to our children and grandchildren....
Scientists are turning to AI to create safer batteries
Liquid lithium-ion batteries are the most common kind of rechargeable batteries used in our electronic devices as they offer a high energy density, stable energy capacity, and low self-discharge for little...
Researchers combat antimicrobial resistance using smartphones
An automated diagnostic test reader for antimicrobial resistance using a smartphone has now been developed by researchers. The technology could lead to routine testing for antimicrobial susceptibility...
Technology communication: Worries through information?
In democratic societies, it is considered an obligation of researchers and politicians to inform the public about modern technologies and their potential risks. Researchers recently found that information...
Footprints suggest surprisingly tall early human ancestor
NEW YORK — He stood a majestic 5-foot-5, weighed around 100 pounds and maybe had a harem. That’s what scientists figure from the footprints he left behind some 3.7 million year ago.He’s evidently the tallest...
Scientists track down genes behind our personalities—and mental disorders
EnlargeGetty | Detroit Free Press reader comments 2 Share this story In many ways, the things we do and the experiences we have shape who we are—from our personalities to the state of our mental health....
Swiping Could Power Future Devices
One day soon, your smart phone could be charged by finger swipes, according to new research. Writing in the journal Nano Energy, researchers from Michigan State University say they have developed a film-like...
Woman: After I rebuffed my Uber driver’s advances, he tried to rape me
EnlargeOre Huiying/Bloomberg via Getty Images reader comments 36 Share this story Further ReadingMan claims Uber driver “left him in a pool of blood” after refusing tripA woman in Minnesota has sued Uber,...
Uber denies targeting ex-engineer in claimed ‘smear campaign’
Susan Fowler, the former engineer whose detailed recounting of sexual harassment and management infighting at Uber prompted CEO Travis Kalanick to apologize for the rough-edged culture he created at the...
Uber says it’s not behind the phone calls to investigate Susan Fowler’s personal life
After a week of controversy — and heavy criticism from its employees, the media and some investors for allowing what one called a "toxic" work culture to thrive — Uber remains on the defense. Today, the...
Uber might genuinely be worried that #DeleteUber is working
alizasherman reader comments 1 Share this story Further ReadingEx-Uber engineer alleges sexual harassment, CEO reacts by promising investigationSocial media calls to #DeleteUber are getting the company's...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark